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Green, Frances M. “Kelley”

About Frances M. “Kelley” Green

Green Portrait

A 'Yellow Bird' magnolia on campus is dedicated to Kelley Green, an accomplished environmental lawyer, advocate and philanthropist.1 Such a tree selection is fitting, as Ms. Green’s nickname was Magnolia.2 Ms. Green was a native of Milledgeville, GA, and graduated from Wellesley College and later George Washington University Law School in 1972. Following her education, she served on the Carter administration’s Department of Justice Transition team, and as the Deputy Associate U.S. Attorney General and Deputy Counsel at the Department of Commerce. Ms. Green then taught environmental law at University of Colorado, Boulder, and started two non-profits there: the Land and Water Fund of the Rockies, an environmental law and advocacy center; and Earth Walk, an environmental education program for children from inner-city Denver. In her free time, Ms. Green was an avid outdoorswoman and philanthropist, supporting causes particularly pertaining to women, children and the environment. To continue this tradition, the Frances “Kelley” Green Scholarship was created in her memory, which helps fund GW Law School students that focus on environmental law and public service. The Fund is presided by Ann G. Wylie, a professor of geology at the University of Maryland and Ms. Green’s college roommate, best friend and mentee. Ms. Green passed away in 2003.1



About the Yellow Bird Magnolia

The tree dedicated to Kelley Green is located in the Music Courtyard of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. It is a Yellow Bird Magnolia (Magnolia acuminata ‘Yellow Bird’), a deciduous tree that is a cross between M. acuminata var. subcordata (native to the eastern US) and M. x brooklynensis ‘Evamaria’. It was introduced in 19813 by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It is a deciduous tree that boasts bright canary yellow, goblet-shaped flowers in the late spring, which bloom as the new leaves emerge. The Yellow Bird magnolia grows to about 40 feet tall and with a pyramidal crown of foliage about 25 feet wide.The leaves are oval-shaped and dark green with entire margins (no “teeth” on the edge of the leaves) and a dull yellow-brown color in autumn.


Green's Tree


Green Plaque




Magnolia Flower


Green's Tree in Bloom

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